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Yadi exits opener with upper back tightness

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Yadier Molina was removed in the top of the ninth inning of Tuesday's 8-3 victory in Cleveland, and he was replaced by pinch-hitter Tony Cruz.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Molina was dealing with tightness in his upper back.

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CLEVELAND -- Yadier Molina was removed in the top of the ninth inning of Tuesday's 8-3 victory in Cleveland, and he was replaced by pinch-hitter Tony Cruz.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Molina was dealing with tightness in his upper back.

View Full Game Coverage

"Yadi tightened up a little bit." Matheny said. "I don't know if it was a cold or what it was exactly, so we'll have to keep an eye on him."

Molina missed 40 games last season after thumb surgery and 16 games in 2013 with a pair of knee issues, but has never missed significant time due to back or shoulder injuries.

The veteran catcher has been uneven at the plate this season, batting .276/.325/.343 through 115 plate appearances without any home runs.

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

St. Louis Cardinals, Yadier Molina